Articles

Major plans for site of Bermudiana Hotel

A Small group of Bermudian investors and businessmen plans to raise over $130 million to turn the Bermudiana Hotel into a five-star hotel and convention centre, with offices and a recreation complex. The group has not been named but is known to include architect Fraser Butterworth. Two other well-known Bermudians with extensive hotel experience are among the founding sponsors.

Mark Hardy goes into bankruptcy in the UK

Focus Insurance chief Mark Hardy was yesterday adjudged bankrupt by an English court.However Mr Hardy, who has long claimed he would not receive justice until a suit for negligence started against him in Bermuda by Focus liquidators was brought before an English judge, warned last night that his legal battle was "far from over".

Mark Hardy declared bankrupt

Businessman Mark Hardy, the former chairman of insolvent Focus Insurance, was today adjudged bankrupt by an English court.

Focus directors fail to have lawsuit struck out

Bermuda Supreme Court Chief Justice Sir James Astwood has refused to strike out a civil action started last summer by the liquidators of Focus Insurance against its former directors and officers.He has ruled that the action contains allegations which, if proved at trial, could show that the directors deliberately disregarded their legal duty to Focus and failed to exercise the care, diligence and skill that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in comparable circumstances.

Tony Habib company to go into liquidation

Financial Services Insurance, the Bermuda-based company whose chief executive was arrested on fraud charges last month, is to be placed in liquidation.

Mark Hardy tries to set aside $19.7 m judgment

Focus Insurance chief Mark Hardy has begun a legal action in the UK seeking to set aside a $19.7 million summary judgement handed down against him in the Bermuda Supreme Court.

Walton Insurance run-off moved from Bermuda to UK

The run off of Walton Insurance Ltd, a Bermuda-based carrier formerly owned by Phillips Petroleum, is to be transferred to the UK in a cost-cutting move that will lead to the loss of 11 jobs.Announcing the relocation, president Tim Spafford said that a further six jobs will also be axed with the closing of an affiliated Bermuda company, Insurance and Reinsurance Services Ltd — a company that specialised in claims audit services.

Assets of Tony Habib company frozen in Bermuda

The Ministry of Finance has frozen the activities of a Bermuda-based insurance company after its chief executive and founder was arrested in New York on fraud charges.Alleged trickster Tony Habib, who heads Financial Services Insurance Ltd, is accused of conning auditors and insurance authorities here and in the US into believing that his company had over $50 million in assets. In reality, its finances are said to be "in serious jeopardy".

Portermains go into hiding

A Bermuda-based insurance company's president and his wife are thought to have gone into hiding after a Federal court in Dallas last week found them guilty of fraud.Neill and Florence Portermain were also found to have taken money from the company under false pretences and were ordered to pay a Bermudian liquidator $17.6 million in damages and interest.

Mentor creditors support scheme of arrangement

Creditors of insolvent Mentor Insurance have given near unanimous support to a proposed "scheme of arrangement" under which the bulk of the company's $175 million of remaining assets are to be distributed by the end of 1994. Of 277 creditors represented at a brief special meeting here on Tuesday, all but one voted for the scheme. The 276 supporting creditors represented claims against the company to the value of $310 million.

Over 70 international banks represented in Bermuda

Tempting as it is to believe that international banking competition is next to impossible on a tiny island served by just three licensed banks, the belief could not be further from the truth.Bermuda's domestic banks compete for international business not only among themselves, but, increasingly, against powerful overseas financial institutions, some of which access the Bermuda market through local corporate vehicles that do not require banking licences.

Growth of insurance sector shakes up Bermuda’s banking industry

Insurance companies seldom come to Bermuda for banking services alone.But they'd be unlikely to stay without them. How else would the 1,324 insurance and reinsurance corporations domiciled here manage the billions of dollars of premiums ($15.41 billion gross and $11.81 billion net at the last count) they write every year?Yet while an efficient banking system has clearly been helpful to the Bermuda insurance industry, it is no less true that the specialised demands of Bermuda's insurers have served to work wonders for the financial systems of Britain's oldest colony.

Privy Council asked to rule on level of competence expected of Bermuda directors

The Privy Council, the highest court of appeal for litigants in British colonies, is to be asked to rule on the nature and standard of skill, care and expertise which the law requires of directors and officers of Bermuda-based companies.The appeal by Focus Insurance Company liquidators could affect every corporation registered here and may ultimately produce a landmark decision in the development of Bermuda's company law.However, the Privy Council application relies on liquidators David Lines and Peter Mitchell first obtaining leave to appeal a Court of Appeal judgment handed down November 25.

Bermuda arrest warrant issued for Mark Hardy

Bermuda's Chief Justice Sir James Astwood has ordered the arrest of former Focus Insurance chairman Mark Hardy for disobeying the Supreme Court's orders.Sir James said that he was holding UK-based Mark Gregory Hardy in contempt of court for violating injunctions issued in July 1991 and February 1992 freezing his personal assets worldwide. He ruled yesterday that Mr Hardy be arrested and brought before him on January 8 "to show cause why I should not commit him to prison".

Mark Hardy continues attempt to strike out lawsuit

Former Focus Insurance chairman Mark Hardy is seeking leave to appeal to the Privy Council after the Court of Appeal last month dismissed his application to overturn a Supreme Court decision.The lower court had disallowed Mr Hardy's attempt to strike out an action against him by Focus' liquidators, who are seeking $19.7 million from the chairman and other defendants.

Anchor Underwriting wins Paumanock run-off contract, claims Spencer-Arscott

Anchor Underwriting Managers has won a contract to run off its main client, Paumanock Insurance, Anchor chairman and chief executive officer Robin Spencer-Arscott revealed last night."Contrary to reports, I'm happy to say that we'll be handling the Paumanock run off," said Mr Spencer-Arscott.

Anchor facing job losses

Anchor Underwriting chief Robin Spencer-Arscott is this week fighting to save jobs after the company was put on notice that Paumanock Insurance, its biggest underwriting account, is going into run off.Anchor, one of Bermuda's leading underwriting managers, has 27 staff, many of them working on Paumanock business.

Paumanock goes into run-off

Paumanock Insurance Company Ltd, the Bermuda-based reinsurance subsidiary of the Grumman Corporation, has ceased underwriting and is to go into run off.No official reason has been given for the move which sent shockwaves through the island's insurance community. However, it is believed that Grumman is preparing to sell the Bermuda subsidiary.

David Thirkill speaks of relief after Bermuda court strikes out negligence action

Former Focus Insurance director David Thirkill is feeling "relieved and vindicated" in the wake of an Appeal Court decision striking out a $20 million civil action started against him by Focus liquidators.The liquidators began the action in the summer of 1990 when they sued Focus' directors and officers for willful negligence and breach of fiduciary duty.The Appeal Court decision, handed down on Monday, overturns a ruling by Chief Justice Sir James Astwood who this year refused to dismiss the suit, ruling that it contained assertions which, if proved at trial, would show the directors deliberately disregarded their duties.

Mentor creditors discuss ‘scheme of arrangement’

Mentor Insurance creditors met on November 13 to review the workings of a proposed "scheme of arrangement" designed to put Bermuda's biggest ever insolvency on course for completion by the end of 1994 and its creditors in line for a further 15 cents in the dollar.

Mentor liquidators enter ‘home stretch’

Mentor Insurance creditors will today review the workings of a proposed "scheme of arrangement" designed to put Bermuda's biggest ever insolvency on course for completion by the end of 1994 and creditors in line for a further 15 cents in the dollar.

Mid Ocean about to open doors

Mid Ocean Reinsurance Company is on the verge of announcing not whether it will open its doors for business, but when.

Mark Hardy fights committal proceedings

Focus Insurance Company chairman Mark Hardy is fighting committal proceedings for alleged contempt of court.Focus liquidators David Lines and Peter Mitchell have begun an action to have Mr Hardy jailed or to receive "other punishment as the court may deem fit" for violating injunctions restricting the use of Mr Hardy's personal assets.

Mark Hardy faces contempt of court proceedings

Insurance group chief Mark Hardy is fighting committal proceedings for alleged contempt of court.Liquidators David Lines and Peter Mitchell have begun an action to have Mr Hardy jailed or to receive "other punishment as the court may deem fit".

Mid Ocean close to opening

Mid Ocean Reinsurance, the proposed new $300 million property catastrophe reinsurer being organised in Bermuda, is close to becoming a reality.

Energy Insurance forms Bermuda rent-a-captive

Energy Insurance Mutual Ltd., the Barbados-domiciled electric and gas utility excess liability insurer, is forming what has been described as a rent-a-captive-style Bermuda subsidiary to underwrite the "various and sundry" risks of its 104 member utilities.

Six defendants added to Focus Insurance lawsuit in Bermuda

Six new defendants who have been added to a suit against the former directors and officers of Bermuda-based Focus Insurance Ltd are not being accused of willful negligence or breach of fiduciary duty - the central allegations in the civil complaint now being brought by Focus' liquidators David Lines and Peter Mitchell.

Norad Re liquidators announce second dividend

Norad Reinsurance liquidators have announced a second dividend of six cents in the dollar.David Brown, one of two joint liquidators, says he aims to begin paying the $2.5 million cash distribution next week to Norad's 125 creditors.

Independence Insurance stops writing new business

Bermuda-based financial reinsurer, Independence Insurance Co Ltd has stopped writing new or renewal business and is asking policyholders whether they wish to commute or novate existing contracts or have them run off.

Brokers collect $5 m for Aneco liquidation fund

London Market brokers have collected more than $5 million for the account of the insolvent Bermuda-based Aneco Reinsurance Underwriting Ltd, the first meeting of Aneco creditors was told in Bermuda March 26.However the funds are subject to a "mareva injunction" freezing all Aneco's assets in the United Kingdom, according to provisional liquidator Malcolm Butterfield.

Hardy fails to block appointment of Aneco liquidators

Aneco Reinsurance creditors have formally rejected an attempt by Aneco chairman Mark Hardy to block the appointment of liquidators from the accounting firm of Coopers and Lybrand. Attending their first meeting yesterday at the Chamber of Commerce, they voted overwhelmingly that C&L's Peter Mitchell and Christopher Hughes be named joint liquidators of Aneco - formerly one of the leading underwriters of captive reinsurance business in Bermuda.

Norad insolvent by $34.6 m

Norad Reinsurance Company is insolvent by almost $34.6 million according to liquidators' latest statistics released to approximately 100 creditors last week.The figure represents the estimated size of the net deficiency of assets to meet total liabilities of just under $37.6 million. But liquidator David Brown says efforts to collect outstanding amounts from Norad's reinsurers are by no means over and could yet help swell the Norad estate by the best part of a million dollars.

NFL teams sued over mutual insurer

The Dallas Cowboys, the San Francisco 49ers, the LA Rams and six other NFL teams are being sued for at least $14.5 million by Bermuda liquidators working on the winding-up of the insolvent mutual N.F.L. Insurance Ltd (NFLIL).Liquidators David Lines and Peter Mitchell claim that the defendants, who were all members of the mutual, are jointly and severally liable to NFLIL for the as yet indeterminate cost of winding it up and for the mutual insurer's debts and liabilities of more than $14.5 million.

New mood of optimism in Mentor liquidation

For the first time since their appointment in the summer of 1985, Mentor Insurance liquidators have detected a dim ray of light coming from what they hope will prove to be the end of a very long tunnel.

Aneco Re Chairman to sue

Aneco Reinsurance Underwriting Ltd chairman Mark Hardy has instructed his lawyers to commence legal proceedings against the underwriters, cedants and brokers responsible for handling Aneco's property catastrophe book of business. The action, to be brought either in Bermuda or in London, will seek damages in connection with the underwriting and placement of this business with Aneco.

Aneco wins appeal against wind-up petition

Aneco Reinsurance Underwriting Ltd, the beleaguered Bermuda-based reinsurer which is fighting three separate applications to have it placed in liquidation, has won an appeal, on technical grounds, against a winding-up petition started six months ago by Mutual Indemnity Ltd.But the Bermuda Appeal Court's decision, handed down November 28, is already the subject of intense legal scrutiny which may yet produce an appeal to Britain's Privy Council - the highest court of appeal for litigants in the UK's dependent territories.